FIBER COLLEGE: Touchstone Retreat September 4-8

Fiber College retreat workshop attendees on the Penobscot Bay.

Disconnect from daily life and dive into the joys of making.  Join us on the shores of Penobscot Bay to learn new skills, connect with fellow makers, and create something beautiful that is uniquely yours.

Crafting is inspiring, social, and absorbing. Our small, immersive classes take place in rustic studios and outdoor spaces. Workshops focus on natural fibers and make the most of the cobblestone beach, lush gardens, and forest around us. Whether you are an accomplished maker or a complete beginner you will find the skills and support you need.


Our workshop leaders are skilled craftswomen who believe that the journey is as important as the destination and learning is itself a creative pursuit. Rather than replicating someone else's patterns, or walking through the steps of a 'prepackaged' project, you'll master the fundamentals and gain the tools and insights to express yourself in your own way.

A Touchstone Retreat is a journey that will open your mind, your senses, and your heart. The glow of accomplishment and future possibilities will stay with you long after you leave  We hope that you will join us!

Natural Patterns and Pigments

With Katama Murray

Experiment with local color to create prints, patterns, and poetry inspired by the region and season! Join us to explore various means of making using natural materials including local plants, food waste, minerals, and more. This class offers a rich amalgamation of several disciplines, focusing on techniques including printmaking, natural dyeing, painting, creative writing, book making, outdoor observation, and mindful foraging. Students will create a collection of work and samples using various techniques, tools, and ideas inspired by their surroundings at Fiber College to engage in mindful making. During this retreat, colors and patterns from the natural world will visually transform into handmade learning resources, wearable art, seasonal samples, creative supplies, and unique ideas!

Papermaking, Printing, and Paper Sculpture

With Karen Olson

Connect with nature on an intimate level and explore methods of self-expression with natural materials and sustainable practices. You will learn concepts and methods for making paper from readily available materials in your environment and learn techniques for the home studio. Delve into the world of oriental papers and learn to print digitally on handmade papers. A variety of paper sculpture techniques both ancient and modern will be demonstrated and incorporated into your own sculptural pieces as you explore a variety of means for working three-dimensionally.

Sheep to Shawl – Creating Wearable Art with Wool

With Diane Hoppe

Embark on a learning journey that begins with meeting the sheep and finishes with weaving a luxurious scarf on a floor loom with your own hand painted yarn.  Along the way you'll learn to discern the wool qualities of various sheep breeds, sort, clean and prepare their fleeces, and choose the colors and textures that represent YOUR September in Maine.

Felted Vessel Making: Back to Basics

With Judith Daniels

Sculpting and molding wool is a tactile process that occupies your hands while leaving your mind to dream of fanciful shapes.  Beautiful colors, wonderful forms, incredible textures and mesmerizing surface design...these are all at your fingertips as you learn the techniques that Judy will teach you.

Brooms & Brushes

With Lin Elkins

Use traditional techniques to create compelling and imaginative brooms and brushes that communicate ideas and feelings through their utility and beyond. We'll forage for our handles, process the sorghum straight from the demonstration garden at Fiber College and create functional and fanciful works of art.

Beautiful woman working on a hooked rug by the window with sunshine

Touchstone Retreat Schedule


Settle into this magical world

2:00-5:00 Register, share a cider, pick up a map of places you might like to visit in the area and settle in for your relaxing retreat once you've gotten a lay of the land

5:30-7:30 Join us for cocktails/mocktails, snacks, and social time.  Meet the instructors and share in the stories while we have a teacher's work exhibition.  We'll light a campfire if you'd like to linger into the evening and toast marshmallows under the stars.


Dive deep into your passion

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12-2 Garden Lunch and Guided conversation (1:00-1:30) (veg & GF friendly)

2-5 Class

5:30-6:30 pre-dinner sip and stroll~ a chance to walk the beach and catch up on the day's activities.

Thursday: Light Dinner (veg & GF friendly) Followed by a Forest Bathing Walk through the ancient Oak grove

Friday: Dinner on your own, studios will remain accessible and we'll have a campfire in the garden for your pleasure

Saturday: Moveable Feast, Some part of dinner will be served in each of the classrooms...stroll through and see what everyone's been creating


Re-emerge Gently

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12:30 - 3 Lunch, book signing, special shopping, pictures and goodbyes (veg & GF friendly)